Estelle Getty

Estelle Getty Headshot


Birth Name: Estelle Scher

Birth Date: July 25, 1923

Death Date: July 22, 2008

Birth Place: New York, New York

The petite, wisecracking embodiment of the "44-year overnight sensation," stage veteran Estelle Getty became a television star at an age when most performers were contemplating retirement. Playing the sharp-tongued, hilariously blunt octogenarian Sophia Petrillo on "The Golden Girls" (NBC, 1985-1992), Getty easily stole scenes from co-stars Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White in this groundbreaking hit sitcom, which cheerfully upended viewers' perceptions of senior citizens. For Getty, a television newcomer then little-known outside theatrical circles, becoming a series regular on "The Golden Girls" established her as Hollywood's go-to comic actress for overbearing mother roles. As she wrote in her 1988 autobiography, If I Knew Then What I Know Now So What?, "I've played Irish mothers, Jewish mothers, Italian mothers, Southern mothers -- I've played mother to everyone but Attila the Hun."

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